Monday, May 15, 2017

Climate Change By The Dollar

One of my lil' neurosis is ensuring that I reduce my energy usage year over year. To make sure I'm following a downward trend, I've been trending the dollar cost for energy and water bills. Assuming that cost per unit does not go down year over year (which so far has been true), this should be a reflection of overall energy use.

Note that the large hills on the graph spurred on by heating bills (both water and central air) are shrinking each year. Air conditioning during the summer months is showing small increases. Over the past three years I have also replaced all light fixtures with LED lighting - which does help drop the constant spend month over month.

It is interesting that while both winters and summers are getting warmer, heating the house expends much more energy than cooling the house, providing an overall downward trend. Water use is also beginning to spike due to the lawn irrigation system, which is why I created the Sprinkler Switch project to only water when no rain has occurred recently or is forecast to occur that day.

This is an indirect measure of how our climate is changing, and only represents a four year sample size. The trends are still quite visible - and demonstrate how evolutions in home heating could significantly reduce energy consumption.